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10 hours ago, ScottF said:

@R Martin  Would you be willing to provide me with contact information for your POC at the FSDO you use?  I'd like to put our Denver FSDO guys in contact with yours.  Texas doesn't have a FSDO in Fort Worth, so maybe you meant Irving, Texas?  You can send me a private message if you don't want to post here.

Thanks

Besides the person I sent, you might also talk to Lloyd Wright. He is a great source for information.

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11 hours ago, ScottF said:

@R Martin  Would you be willing to provide me with contact information for your POC at the FSDO you use?  I'd like to put our Denver FSDO guys in contact with yours.  Texas doesn't have a FSDO in Fort Worth, so maybe you meant Irving, Texas?  You can send me a private message if you don't want to post here.

Thanks

She is in the district office off I-35W down the road from me. Not the Irving FSDO

 

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@R Martin Thanks again for sharing your insight.  

To the rest of the forum, I thought I would share some of our conversation back to the group, so you all have some additional context about obtaining FAA Authorizations that I've learned.  

First, @R Martin flies for a public organization (e.g. government funded), so his FAA Authorizations go to a separate FAA organization (FAA Public Aviation Operations) specifically geared to support them.  With this information, I don't feel as bad when he says he is able to get his approvals in 40 days.  I can imagine that the Public Aviation Operations have fewer Authorization requests, relative to the us working in the commercial sector.  Although I would assume that the FAA would have scaled their operations relative to the number of requests, but clearly, this has not happened based on me waiting for Authorization approval for over 5 months (with only a reference number being assigned to it)!

Second, my POCs working in the Denver FSDO confirm that Commercial Authorizations are forwarded to a central clearing house back East.  But, thanks to @R Martin providing contact information, they are going to call them and see if they can get any more information.

I'll let the forum know when I learn more.  

Scott

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On 9/6/2017 at 12:45 AM, ScottF said:

@R Martin  just to clarify for @ndsoemthig and others reading this, contacting the local airport is what the FAA has asked hobbyist operators to do if they are flying within 5SM of the airport.  

However, commercial operators MUST obtain authorization or waiver directly from the FAA via the UAS site if you are trying to operate within controlled airspace.  For commercial operators, an airport manager or ATC does not have the authority to approve flights within controlled airspace.  The FAA approval process is now taking well over 4 months!  

THIS IS ONLY FOR WAIVERS of the part 107 rules.

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6 minutes ago, MedicFL1 said:

THIS IS ONLY FOR WAIVERS of the part 107 rules.

No, it includes authorizations as well.

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@medicFL1,  Why do you think getting approval from the FAA via the UAS site only applies for Waivers and not Authorizations?  What regulation are you citing?  

If you click on this link, you are taken to the FAA UAS site and the request form for operations in Controlled Airspace requires the submitter to select either "Airspace Authorization" or "Airspace Waiver".  The original link that I provided, takes you to a page that describes the FAA's process.  Moreover, it says, "The previous Part 107 waiver and authorization form has been split into two separate request forms — one for airspace waiver/authorization requests, and another for non-airspace Part 107 waiver requests."  How else are commercial operators supposed to get approval for Airspace Authorizations?  

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When authorization in a controlled airspace is needed, you contact that airport control tower and advise of your flight; Time, location, radius etc.

You do NOT need authorization to fly in uncontrolled airspace.  

There are classes of airspace... just who and how would you contact to fly in G Airspace and why? (NOTAM & TFR aside).

No other App beside B4UFLY is FAA material, responsible for any mistakes or will be of any use in a court if relied upon. Beware of all these APP's out there'

You are ultimately responsible for your actions, not them.

Edited by MedicFL1

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4 hours ago, MedicFL1 said:

When authorization in a controlled airspace is needed, you contact that airport control tower and advise of your flight; Time, location, radius etc.

You do NOT need authorization to fly in uncontrolled airspace.  

There are classes of airspace... just who and how would you contact to fly in G Airspace and why? (NOTAM & TFR aside).

No other App beside B4UFLY is FAA material, responsible for any mistakes or will be of any use in a court if relied upon. Beware of all these APP's out there'

@MedicFL1, Here's what the FAA UAS website's FAQ says.  I can't make it any more clear than that.  

2. How do I request permission from Air Traffic Control to operate in Class B, C, D, or E airspace? Is there a way to request permission electronically?
You can request airspace authorization through an online web portal available at www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver.

3. Can I contact my local air traffic control tower or facility directly to request airspace permission?
No. All airspace permission requests must be made through the online portal.

You also mention the B4UFLY App.  This is intended to be used by recreational pilots; not commercial (Part 107) pilots... again, see the FAA FAQ link, here's what the FAA says on their site: 

1.  .... Additionally, the FAA's B4UFLY app, which is designed to help recreational UAS flyers know where it's safe to fly, shows users if they are in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, or E airspaces) in a given or planned location. If the app's status indicator is yellow ("Use Caution – Check Restrictions"), a user is in uncontrolled (Class G) airspace.

You also said that "you do NOT need authorization to fly in uncontrolled airspace" - no one in this thread said that they did.  

Edited by ScottF

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8 hours ago, ScottF said:

@MedicFL1, Here's what the FAA UAS website's FAQ says.  I can't make it any more clear than that.  

2. How do I request permission from Air Traffic Control to operate in Class B, C, D, or E airspace? Is there a way to request permission electronically?
You can request airspace authorization through an online web portal available at www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver.

3. Can I contact my local air traffic control tower or facility directly to request airspace permission?
No. All airspace permission requests must be made through the online portal.

You also mention the B4UFLY App.  This is intended to be used by recreational pilots; not commercial (Part 107) pilots... again, see the FAA FAQ link, here's what the FAA says on their site: 

1.  .... Additionally, the FAA's B4UFLY app, which is designed to help recreational UAS flyers know where it's safe to fly, shows users if they are in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, or E airspaces) in a given or planned location. If the app's status indicator is yellow ("Use Caution – Check Restrictions"), a user is in uncontrolled (Class G) airspace.

You also said that "you do NOT need authorization to fly in uncontrolled airspace" - no one in this thread said that they did.  

The above statement applies to Part 107 commercial operations. Recreational pilots flying under 336 can just notify the tower of impending ops and fly. The difference is commercial ops vs recreational flight.

The tower is not supposed to give authorization to commercial operators to fly in controlled airspace. I am not saying it does not happen; it does. But as a commercial pilot under Part 107 you owe it to yourself to go through the proper channels to legally fly in controlled airspace. When (not if) something goes wrong, you do not want to go through and NTSB and/or FAA investigation with that extra technicality hanging over your head to be used against you. That is my two cents; take it for what it's worth.

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12 hours ago, MedicFL1 said:

When authorization in a controlled airspace is needed, you contact that airport control tower and advise of your flight; Time, location, radius etc.

That does not make you legal. Without the paperwork from the FAA, you don't have a leg to stand on if something goes wrong. You need the COA paperwork on your person when you are operating. That can only be obtained through the online portal. As far as Class G goes, as long as you adhere to the regs you are cleared to fly without any approval process.

The only exception to THAt would be SUA, TFR ect which modifies the airspace for a period of time ((military bases, critical infrastructure, Tier 1 sports stadiums for example)).

And a final note and this is just a personal observation; I don't trust any app...FAA or not. The onus of operating a UAS within the regs and under conditions favorable for flight is up to you. There is enough valid and accurate information available at your fingertips that you should not be trusting an app that may or may not be accurately updated on an hourly basis. Conditions change constantly. Cover you backside and don't take the lazy approach. Do your homework before each flight. It's a pilot thang.

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14 hours ago, ScottF said:

"The previous Part 107 waiver and authorization form has been split into two separate request forms — one for airspace waiver/authorization requests, and another for non-airspace Part 107 waiver requests."  

That should cure some of the confusion hopefully. Or create more....

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Am I and others actually to believe that you are waiting 45 days, 6 months and whatever other time periods were previously quoted to fly your sUAS?

While the rest of us are out flying everyday, you're staying at home waiting for paperwork that's not coming?

Follow the rules of 107 if you pass it  and fly. If not, enjoy your hobby flying but in no way shape or form were you ever told that you can't fly.

YOU CAN REQUEST but you don't have to (computer side). You must inform airport authority / air traffic control tower of your flight within 5 NM (human side),

B4UFLY app is the only app sanctioned by the FAA. No other app can be relied on. Sectional charts are available at your local airport.

I find it hard to believe that you are sitting home not flying and complicating a system for yourself that not need be.

End of subject f  or me.  Best of luck to you.

 

Edited by MedicFL1

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5 hours ago, R Martin said:

That does not make you legal. Without the paperwork from the FAA, you don't have a leg to stand on if something goes wrong. You need the COA paperwork on your person when you are operating. That can only be obtained through the online portal. As far as Class G goes, as long as you adhere to the regs you are cleared to fly without any approval process.

The only exception to THAt would be SUA, TFR ect which modifies the airspace for a period of time ((military bases, critical infrastructure, Tier 1 sports stadiums for example)).

And a final note and this is just a personal observation; I don't trust any app...FAA or not. The onus of operating a UAS within the regs and under conditions favorable for flight is up to you. There is enough valid and accurate information available at your fingertips that you should not be trusting an app that may or may not be accurately updated on an hourly basis. Conditions change constantly. Cover you backside and don't take the lazy approach. Do your homework before each flight. It's a pilot thang.

You are incorrect

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Hey there, @MedicFL1. Welcome to the forum! Saw that you just registered yesterday. Hope you've found some of these threads helpful.

Wanted to hop in here, as I'm seeing some misinformation that's being shared, and the discourse in this thread is getting a little...terse? Please know that you are INCORRECT as far as this goes:

Quote

When authorization in a controlled airspace is needed, you contact that airport control tower and advise of your flight; Time, location, radius etc.

If you're operating under Part 107 rules, and you need to fly in Class B, C, D, or E controlled airspace, you need authorization...not from the tower / airport, but from the FAA in the form of their online airspace authorization form.

Not sure where you're hearing otherwise. Says so right on the FAA's website. Don't contact the airport / ATC directly. Go through the form. It's pretty straightforward.

Class D and Class E-at-surface requests tends to get approved pretty quickly, but the Class B and Class C requests can sometimes take up to the full 80-90 days. Good thing is that airspace authorizations are being issued - last I checked - through June 2018, so it's a kind of blanket approval and I encourage remote pilots operating in their local geographies to look up all the controlled airspace in the area where they'd theoretically be flying in the future, and to go ahead and apply for authorization for all that space. We have tips on how to apply in this airspace authorization guide over here. Also, the FAA facility maps and what's been doing with LAANC and instant airspace authorizations is really exciting. We're moving in the right direction.

And as far as the B4UFLY app is concerned, for what it's worth I have yet to talk to a single sUAS operator who actually uses that to do airspace research for commercial flights. Despite the FAA's best intentions, they built it mostly for hobbyists, and the expectations within the app aren't set that well / it's hard to see the kind of Sectional Chart data you need to properly conduct research.

I encourage our students to use apps like B4UFLY as a starting point, but at the end of the day, you've got to consult the Sectional Chart directly. I like VFRMap.com and SkyVector.com - there's also AirMap.com, which has the highest integrity data in the industry and has a cool feature where you can plug in an address to see whether or not you're in controlled airspace or not. Their user interface is a bit wonky, but it's a good research tool, and I know when I'm planning my own missions, I usually use 2-3 resources to make sure I'm covering all bases. There are other flight ops management tools like Skyward, Flyte, that are good for research as well.

Hope this helps - please feel free to ask questions as this group is a helpful bunch, many of them expert pilots who've logged dozens and dozens of hours for their clients.

Appreciate you taking the time to join our forum and to contribute!

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Had to jump in here.  Alan is 100% correct.  There just isn't anything to discuss about it.  In addition, I have had very lengthy discussions with an FAA inspector about this and much more.  Again, Alan is on the mark.

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There is an order and there is the law. The order does not supersede the law. you must advise Airport Authority / Air Traffic control and that's that.

Your 6 month waiver is another story.

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You are wrong, you have been told you are wrong, and I wonder what it will take for you to understand that.  I would give you FAA phone numbers for you to call and speak to inspectors, as I have done in the past, but you would probably say THEY are wrong.

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